Genesis Chapter 40

"The Wisdom of Joseph." 

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by

Genesis 40:1 "And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt."

The butler is the cupbearer of the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and he and the chief butler got into a fight. When the Pharaoh heard about it, he commanded that they both be thrown into prison. Both of these men held high rank in the service of the Pharaoh.

Genesis 40:2 "And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers."

Genesis 40:3 "And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound."

This is also under Potiphar's guard. Remember from last chapter, Potiphar turned the affairs of this prison over to Joseph.

Genesis 40:4 "And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward."

When Potiphar took these two high ranking men of the Pharaoh, he turned them over to Joseph.

Genesis 40:5 "And they dreamed a dream both to them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison."

God is not going to leave Joseph here in prison, and we see here that God has started a way of getting Joseph in the place where he would have him. This is the first night in the prison for these two men that are fighting amongst themselves, and in that first night both of these men dream a dream.

Genesis 40:6 "And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad."

This was quite a shock for these two men, being thrown into prison. In the morning Joseph comes into their cells and sees that they are both very sad, for they both dreamed a dream, and wanted to know the interpretation.

Genesis 40:7 "And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?"

Genesis 40:8 "And they said unto him, "We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." And Joseph said unto them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you."

Joseph is a servant of God, and he wants to hear the dreams these two men have, to soothe their minds.

Genesis 40:9 "And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;"

Genesis 40:10 "And in the mine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:"

Genesis 40:11 "And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand."

Genesis 40:12 "And Joseph said unto him, "This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:"

Genesis 40:13 "Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler."

Joseph assured the Butler that it would be well with him in three days, and that he would be promoted to a higher position then he had before.

Genesis 40:14 "But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:"

Joseph wants the butler to remember him when he has been restored to his high position, and tell Pharaoh he wants to get out of the prison. Joseph knew that the butler would be closer to Pharaoh, and in a higher position that Potiphar.

Genesis 40:15 "For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon."

Notice that Joseph doesn't go into a long story of all the wrongs that befell him. He simply states the nature of how he is in prison wrongfully. I'm innocent, and I don't belong here; Joseph got to the point.

Genesis 40:16 "When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and behold, I had three baskets on my head:"

These were three "wicker" baskets on the head of the baker.

Genesis 40:17 "And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats of Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head."

Genesis 40:18 "And Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation thereof: the three baskets are three days:"

Genesis 40:19 "Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee."

This is quite a contrast between the baker's dream and the butler's dream. The butler gets a promotion, and the baker gets hung.

Genesis 40:20 "And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants."

This is the Pharaoh's birthday, the forth day following the dream, and Pharaoh call to have the two chief men of this household brought forth out of the dungeon.

Genesis 40:21 "And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:"

The cup bearer is the one that even tests Pharaoh's food, and he has to be one that the Pharaoh really trusts. He is one that is constantly by the Pharaoh's side.

Genesis 40:22 "But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them."

Genesis 40:23 "Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him."

The interpretation of the dreams that God gave to Joseph came true, yet Joseph is still kept in prison. The butler forgot Joseph. God is still in control, and in God's set times things will happen that are suppose to. Joseph asked a man to remember him, and that man forgot. It is far more important that God remember you, then some man who is more interested in his own affairs, then to remember a promise given back in prison.

When you are in the hand of God, then you are in the will of God, and you can ask no one higher and expect to be heard every time. We will see in the next chapter that the Baker never forgot Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams, and God will use this time in prison, and the ability to use what God has given to him, to save his people, the nation that the Messiah will come through. It is God that will place Joseph in the position that He would have Joseph serve, and Joseph will have to wait upon God patiently for the right time.

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